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FloEssence teaches self-defense class at Arts & Science Center

by Deborah Horn Special to The Commercial | March 7, 2023 at 3:46 a.m.
Florence Love is a Taekwondo 3rd degree Black Belt and certified yoga instructor. She offered a “Women’s Self-Defense with FloEssence”class at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas on March 4. (Special to The Commercial)

It is often different for women than many men, that feeling of vulnerability in a new or even a familiar place, especially after dark and walking alone.

Florence Love understands and said women of all ages can learn effective techniques to help make that walk to the car a little safer.

Love, a Taekwondo third-degree black belt and certified yoga instructor, taught a class, "Women's Self-Defense with FloEssence," at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas at Pine Bluff for the first time Saturday.

Grand Master Richard Anderson, Taekwondo ninth-degree black belt, and Damir Johnson, Taekwondo second-degree black belt, volunteered to help with the class of about eight.

Love said, "It was a great class," and afterward she was hugged by participants and personally thanked for teaching it.

The 90-minute class started at 1:30 p.m. at ASC's ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St.

Love said it was geared "toward women and focused on basic skills and effective techniques that empower women toward greater confidence, self-awareness and protection from physical threats."

There are other benefits, too.

"Self-defense will not only help prevent an attack on your life, but you might be surprised to learn that it comes with a wide range of other useful benefits as well," Love said.

The noble arts teach values.

"You'll learn an entirely new type of respect for the art and the people involved in it," Love said.

The class was open to participants 13 and older and cost ASC members $20, while nonmembers were charged $25. It was sponsored by Realtor Angela White J. Smith with eXp Realty.


Love is not a newcomer to ASC and has taught yoga classes called "Yoga in the Loft, with Floessence" for approximately a year. Her next yoga session will be held from 1-3 p.m. March 18.

It is designed for participants of all levels of yoga, from beginner to advanced, and the 60-minute session is followed by a 30-minute guided meditation designed to help participants wind down.

The class is also sponsored by Smith and will be held in the Loft Gallery of The ARTSpace on Main. It is flex pay, but $15 is recommended.

For more information about the required advance registration and payment for the Yoga in the Loft, with Floessence, contact Rachael Bynum at or call (870) 536-3375.


Florence Love used yoga and Taekwondo to battle Crohn's disease and colitis, both of which she was diagnosed with in 2003. She endured the illness and about a half-dozen surgeries while raising three children.

"It took me about 12 years of ups and downs, battling my health. ... I struggled with pain and depression. But I'm a fighter, a warrior," Love said.

In addition to teaching classes at local schools, rehabilitation centers and ASC, Love holds Yoga in the Garden sessions at the State Street Good Earth Community Garden at the corner of 14th Avenue and State Street in Pine Bluff. She also has a studio at Anderson/Flo Taekwondo Studio, 4216 W. 28th Ave.

  photo  Grandmaster Richard Anderson (far right) Taekwondo 9th degree Black Belt, volunteered to help with the self-defence class offered by Florence Love, Taekwondo 3rd degree Black Belt, March 4 at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. (Special to The Commercial)

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